We've also seen here (in the comments of various postings) the rather useless argument that goes something like:
Historians will look back on the Bush years as either the beginning of America's Dark Ages or its end.
In conducting the war on terror, the administration of President Bush has not called upon "the better angels" of America's nature, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln. If anything, the nation has been encouraged to set aside previous moral convictions. Mr. Bush believes it makes more sense to mirror the ruthlessness of America's enemies than to honor the values that make us distinct from them.
According to this moral logic, a tough enemy requires the use of even tougher interrogation techniques. As long as al-Qaida remains in the shadows, qualms are a luxury Americans can't afford, according to Mr. Bush. This is the kind of reasoning that has led to outrages against human dignity throughout history.
Well, since we haven't been attacked since 9/11 it follows that the President HAS protected us. And if that protection includes any "enhanced techniques" necessary to protect American lives, I say go for it! Let's Roll! Bring it on!First off, that argument assumes that there HAVE been attacks since 9/11 and that those attacks were in fact thwarted by this administration. Given the vast array of lies and deceptions spewed out by this administration since 9/11, how can we be sure that anything it says is correct?
Wasn't this an al-Qaeda cell?
The Associated Press is reporting that a federal jury in Miami has acquitted one defendant of charges of plotting to link up with al-Qaeda to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower.
The jury, however, could not reach agreement on the other six defendants, and a mistrial was declared.
The AP says Bush administration had seized on the case to illustrate the dangers of homegrown terrorism and underscore the government’s post-Sept. 11 success in infiltrating and smashing terrorism plots in their earliest stages.Back to the P-G:
Recently, though Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) put a hold on the legislation. His reason?
Last week, the House of Representatives voted 222-199 to outlaw waterboarding by the CIA. The legislation rejects waterboarding as an interrogation tool. The majority of Democrats who voted for the ban are trying to impose the same rules on U.S. intelligence that govern the conduct of the Army.
The bill also bans "techniques" that employ mock executions, attack dogs, sexual humiliation, starvation and the withholding of medical care. As if to remind everyone of his medieval bona fides, Mr. Bush has promised to veto the bill if it wins Senate approval.
I think quite frankly applying the Army field manual to the CIA would be ill-advised and would destroy a program that I think is lawful and helps the country.If it helps the country, then why not let the Army do it? Or as Spencer Ackerman put it in that same article:
So torture is counterproductive for the military but valuable for the CIA?Absurd.
The P-G ends with a rhetorical question:
We need a leader who will chart a new path. Can the United States reclaim its place as a beacon of moral behavior, or will it follow Mr. Bush into the Dark Ages?Only time will tell.